Constant frying and roasting in the kitchen can quickly turn your oven, cabinets and benchtop into a greasy and stinky mess. But before you reach for that chemical spray, why not look into your pantry first instead? The ingredients for making the best homemade degreasers may be right under your nose!
Store-bought cleaning agents are readily available and easy to use. But the many benefits of homemade degreasers make up for the time and effort you put into preparing them. For instance, the ingredients for DIY cleaners are readily available and cheap. They’re perfect for cutting your grocery cost. It’s highly unlikely for these cleaners to cause allergies or damage your work surfaces, too. More importantly, these natural cleaners are safer for cleaning spaces that you usually come in contact with food.
To help you with the scrubbing and wiping, here are some of the best homemade degreasers for your favourite kitchen spots. A word of advice though: always do a spot test first before you use your degreaser on any surface, furniture or appliance. Also, make sure to store and label your cleaner bottles and containers properly.
Here’s a mild, all-around degreaser you can use for most surfaces like your benchtop, prep area or kitchen island. It’s useful for wiping away splatters and fingerprints, too. The baking soda in this recipe should work as a gentle scouring agent. You can make this mixture in batches and store it in spray bottles for easy application.
- Ingredients: 1 cup distilled white vinegar, natural liquid soap, 1 tbsp baking soda, warm water and essential oil of your choice
- Procedure: Put the vinegar, soap and baking soda in a 1L spray bottle. Then fill the bottle with enough water. To mask the vinegar smell, you can add a few drops of essential oil. I recommend citrus ones, like lemon or orange, as they give your kitchen a refreshing, clean scent. Give your bottle a few good shakes to mix your ingredients.
- Use: Spray your degreaser onto greasy surfaces then wipe clean with a sponge or dishcloth.
Oven and Stovetop
Among our list of best homemade degreasers, one that can dissolve oven grease as well as remove oil residue on your stovetop, range hood and backsplash is the most essential. These areas take the brunt of your delicious cooking and would require a more potent cleaner. The addition of chemical-free castile soap, the ever-reliable grease cutter, to your cleaning solution should do the trick.
- Ingredients: 1/3 cup castile soap, 2/3 cup baking soda, 2 tbsp salt and 3 to 4 tbsp water
- Procedure: Combine the soap, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Stir in enough water to turn your mixture into a paste.
- Use: Remove the oven racks (or stovetop grates) then apply your degreaser on the interior or surface using a sponge or dishcloth. Make sure not to put any paste on the heat source. Let it sit overnight. Wipe the surface clean with a damp sponge. You may need to do a little scrubbing for more stubborn spots.
Touching your kitchen cabinet doors would likely feel grimy and sticky on the fingers. Oil splatters and constant hand contact can eventually lead to dirt build-up. Here’s a solution you can do to cut grease off kitchen furniture. It’s quick to make and works wonders even on wooden cabinets!
- Ingredients: ½ cup borax, 1 cup distilled white vinegar and about 4L of hot water
- Procedure: Mix the ingredients in a large container. The hot water should keep the borax diluted. It’s best not to transfer the solution in a spray bottle as borax can crystallise once the water cools down. You can, however, reduce the degreaser recipe by half, depending on the number of cabinets you need to clean.
- Use: Dip a dishcloth into your cleaner, wring out the excess then use it to wipe greasy cabinet areas. Use a damp cloth to wipe the surface. Wash your dishcloth in running water then repeat the process until everything’s clean and grease-free. You can also do this cleaning technique before giving your cabinets a fresh coat of paint.
Stainless Steel Surfaces
We love having stainless steel appliances and work surfaces in the kitchen as they are long-lasting. But they can also be magnets for grime and grease. This simple cleaner recipe should take care of them and keep them shiny.
- Ingredients: 1 cup warm water and a few squirts of dish detergent
- Procedure: Combine these two ingredients to make a soapy solution.
- Use: Dip your nylon brush into the cleaner and start scrubbing the greasy spots, making sure that you follow the grain lines. Use a clean damp sponge to wipe the soap away. For best results, clean the grease off your stainless-steel surfaces immediately. Also, if you need tips for removing stains on your stainless steel sink, this step-by-step guide should help keep it sparkling clean.
In case you don’t have essential oil at home or you find it too expensive, here’s a neat trick you can do: use citrus peel! Orange or lemon peels have natural oils that you can extract and use as a deodoriser. Here’s how to make it.
- Ingredients: Distilled white vinegar and citrus peel from eight oranges or twelve lemons or limes
- Procedure: Place your citrus peel in a jar then fill it with enough vinegar. Let it sit for two weeks before using. You can also use a combination of different citrus peels if you want. When ready, strain the citrus peels and set the liquid aside. Combine your citrus solution with water in a spray bottle, following a 1:1 ratio.
- Use: Clean your kitchen surface using one of our best homemade degreasers as usual. Then spritz your citrus solution on a damp dishcloth to give the area a finishing, fragrant wipe.